Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day Trip to Tamsui (淡水, Picture heavy!)

Yet another long post.

My cousin Q. is finishing her last year of college in Taipei, and so after having not seen each other for many years, we now get to hang out every now and then in a city unfamiliar to the both of us ^.^ One weekend we met up for a day trip in Tamsui, and she brought her classmates with her, all 10 of them. Yep. That's how they roll I guess xD Hubby and I were a bit surprised at first since we weren't expecting a giant get together but we all ended up enjoying ourselves so much we forgot we were moving about in a big mass LOL! 

It's so so convenient to travel about here in Taipei, as there are subway, bus, etc., to every where. It is cheap too, and public transportation here costs less than 1/3 of what it does in Japan! The nearest MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) station is literally outside my alley, and I'm on the Red Line, which goes directly to Tamsui in about 1 hour. So yeah, I just got on the train and that was that! Super nice...

A farmer's market and a human statue at the start of the Tamsui Old Street.

This guy here is the best human statue I've ever come across. He didn't just pose for photos, he entertained the entire crow! He struck a different pose with each and every guest and still somehow managed to have the entire crowd rolling on the floor laughing each time. Check out his FB page - http://www.facebook.com/wen0411

Here he was making a picture frame over hubby's face and stole my cousin's hat xD

I laughed so hard here my stomach hurt!

Tamsui is such a fabulous place, even if it's swarming with tourists. Since there was a big group of us and it was a blisteringly hot day when the sun was scorching (don't let the cloudy pictures fool you!), we decide to take it easy with a stroll up the famous Tamsui Old Street (淡水老街) to Lover's Bridge at the northeast tip of Tamsui. Even then, 5 minutes into the walk and I was already soaking in sweat!

Fresh sugar cane juice, which I haven't had for years!!!

Huge soft cream cone that I had to help hubby finish.



I got a cute shot of my cousin's classmates here ^.^

Tamsui Old Street  is a boardwalk along the Tamsui River lined with street performers, shops, snack carts, and food stands.  


And it's not a short walk either, about 3+ miles (~4.8km) long from start to end, where Lovers' Bridge is. Throw in all the attractions (or rather, distractions ^.^) and it took us all afternoon just to barely make it half way through.


But the walk along the water front was gorgeous!






Around 5:30PM we took a detour here to see the Red Hair Castle, which is about half way through the walk.



There were cranes hanging out about the castle's lawn ^.^

View from the top of the castle, which is more like a small home and not so much a majestic castle in the traditional sense.

After Red Hair Castle, we were too exhausted and hot to keep walking, so we hopped on bus #26 and rode it up to Fisherman's Wharf, where Lovers' Bridge is located.


Lovely sunset in the horizon, as seen from Lovers' Bridge.



Here hubby is sitting on the wooden board walk as it reaches its conclusion at Lovers' Bridge. No one wanted to walk back from here of course LOL! Anyway, isn't that bridge gorgeous? It's lit up at night, much like the Tokyo Rainbow Bridge.

There are restaurants and shops below and underneath the boardwalk too!

Here's the bridge finally getting some lights, though we didn't stay long enough to see the lights changing. We were all too tired and hungry, so we decided to get on another bus to head back.

After a short discussion, we all agreed to find a shop at the night market there on Old Street to eat at.

We had tianbula (甜不辣), which is Mandarin for tempura, though as you can see it's nothing like actual tempura ^.^ Hubby ordered wonton noodles (yes, again!), and his came with Japanese nori, which was a total surprise. It tasted a bit like Japan, which made us both miss Japan very much.

In addition to tianbula and wonton noodles, we also order the regional specialty that is A-gei (阿給), which is fried tofu stuffed with clear noodles and sealed with fish paste, which looked a bit like melted mozzarella xD They were all delicious!

I had dry noodles (without broth) and it was yummy too ^.^

Another regional specialty, iron eggs.

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